Rudy Giuliani: Cultural Gestapo?
April 4, 2001 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Rudy Giuliani: Cultural Gestapo? C'mon NYC, I expect you guys to be a bastion of liberalism. Is this kind of stuff gonna happen to LA's Porn Valley soon? Not if they elect this man mayor...
posted by owillis (10 comments total)
Yes! LA should elect Rob Black, and then NYC can elect Al "Grandpa" Lewis!
posted by Potsy at 7:01 PM on April 4, 2001

LA should elect Rob Black

This guy calls himself a pornmeister? Where are the javascript popups on his website? Sheesh.

As for Rudy's Kultural Kopz, good luck. If they try to eliminate all offense from art, they'll be left with nothing but 19th-century Victorian portraiture. Oh yeah, I happened to catch some of Chris Ofili's (Mr. Elephant Dung) stuff at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. His work stinks...literally. Every painting reeks of pachyderm poop. I started to gag after I'd stood there a few minutes.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:32 PM on April 4, 2001

You know, I really hate what he has done to the city. Sure, the crime rate may be down, but this comes at the expense of all the people living there. The rules and regulations he put in place outright go against what "New York City" atmoshpere was and should be. (at least to me)

Although on this point, I think he is well within his power. People should not pay taxes to support museums in the first place, but if they do, at the very least they should be able to exclude the "shock art" kinda stuff.

MrBaliHai: They are not trying to eliminate "all offence from art." They simply won't actively support it. The art can still be displayed anywere you want, as long as it's not on other New Yorker's dime.
posted by Witold at 8:21 PM on April 4, 2001

As a Manhattan resident, I'm stumped as to what expense Rudy's changes have caused me. They've been almost universally positive improvements in the quality of life in the City, as seen from my window.
posted by aaron at 10:31 PM on April 4, 2001

Aaron, I'm not a big Giulliani fan, but some people feel nostalgia for the days when the city was...."grittier." Someone I was talking to recently was upset that they're using a new train on one of the lines (forget which), and it's well lit and clean and you can actually hear announcements over the loud speaker. They were complaining about this. It's kind of absurd.
posted by Doug at 11:44 PM on April 4, 2001

Doug, you nailed it. Maybe it's because I don't live in NYC anymore, (still go there pretty frequently) but I miss the "gritty" feel. I've learned to accept it when I did live there and saw it as part of it's uniquness--in the same way that you start to associate 3 card monie crews hussling tourists with certain streets and expect them to be there the next time around... In cortrast, these days you find cops going after every minor infraction they can find. They even put up metal barriers at some intersections to prevent people from crossing there. I don't dare think what happens to a poor soul who jaywaks. I know that there's sound logic behind all the rules, but I think pre-Guliani NYC had more "character".

I guess it's easy for me to say that as I don't live there anymore.

But hey, the subway continues to maintain its unique aroma!
posted by Witold at 12:00 AM on April 5, 2001

My Manhattanite friends all feel safer for Giuliani (one quote: "I wouldn't have moved back here five years ago") but they're also agreed that much of the problem has been swept out to the outer boroughs rather than tackled head-on.

I have a lot of respect for the man: he's a great example for other metropolitan leaders. But there was a smart comment in the NYT while I was staying there in February, that Giuliani has been good at attacking what was bad about NYC, but not so good at putting something good in its place. Then again, you need a surgeon if you've got a tumour, not a make-up artist. He'll be a hard act to follow, and I'm not sure if his successor (of whatever political creed) ought to try to emulate him.

(Oh, there was a comment on Slate from one of the Daily Show's writers, noting that the arbiters of taste and decency were all white men over 60. Ahem. But art ought to offend: Manet was considered obscene, so was Picasso.)
posted by holgate at 7:24 AM on April 5, 2001

When I lived in NYC, I'd spend about one lunch hour a week just watching the three-card monte crews (though they rarely use playing cards anymore). Once I entertained several people near me explaining the scam until I was run off by a couple of his bouncers.

The big key is figuring out who's working with him: generally there's a dealer, and at least two people acting as lookout/bouncer/shill in alternating phases, generally at least one of them female, and sometimes as many as two more to give the team muscle. It's amazing how many people don't realize the guy isn't acting alone. The whole point is that when you see somebody winning, it's either a pre-arranged shill playing with the team's money, or a mark being reeled in rope-a-dope style. Every time, the outcome is predetermined.
posted by dhartung at 7:42 AM on April 5, 2001

dhartung: Once they were taking 40$ bets, and this poor female tourist, having just seen someone else win, just had to try her luck. She didn't have 40$, but she had about 30$, and she and the dealer struck a deal, with her trowing in all her significant change, and her metro card as well. You know the ending.
posted by Witold at 12:07 PM on April 5, 2001

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